Mohammed Salim  is facing an ideal triangular contest in his constituency in West Bengal. His party Communist Party Of India (Marxist), which had ruled the State continuously for 34 years, drew a blank in the last Lok Sabha elections. Can he, the party’s State secretary, be able to put on a spectacular show this time? Can the party rise like a phoenix from the ashes in Bengal?

Veteran Mohammed Salim, is very confident as he is on a strong wicket in Murshidabad LS constituency in South Bengal. Coming to his aid, the Congress-Left alliance is working at full throttle for the Murshidabad seat, situated on the bank of the River Bhagirathi.

“In Murshidabad, the Left and the Congress already have an advantage numerically as the voters come together. The people are fighting against the menace of corruption, the loots and the communalism and divisive politics. We had witnessed this in the Panchayat elections (in 2023). Even though the police and the goons had tried to change the results, the people organised resistance. Murshidabad came into limelight due to the resistance movement of the Left and the Congress. And, this resistance has put them together,” Salim told businessline.

Notably, after the 2023 Panchayat elections, CPI(M) leaders asserted that its results indicated a “resurgence” of the Left in West Bengal and the binary of the Trinamool Congress and the BJP is not working in the State.

The CPI(M), along with the Congress, had garnered a high vote share in Murshidabad, a Muslim-majority area, during the Panchayat elections.

Salim is confident of winning the seat as he believes the BJP is no longer an important contestant here. Furthermore, an anti-incumbency sentiment against the ruling Trinamool Congressremains strong because of unemployment, lack of development and no industrialisation.

“The party and the INDIA bloc have decided to field me here because they wanted me to be in Parliament as Murshidabad’s people also want their voice to be heard,” said an assured Salim, whose key contest will be against Trinamool’s Abu Taher Khan.

The BJP has fielded Gouri Shankar Ghosh for this constituency, which is going to polls in the third phase on May 7. Campaigning for the seat came to an end on Sunday.

“With every passing phase, you will find the wind of resistance against the TMC and the BJP is blowing strongly, creating a strong storm in other seats in South Bengal,” the CPI(M) State Secretary said.

“Our first priority was to break the BJP-TMC binary because over the years, spending millions of dollars, they created it. We wanted to break this binary. And that is why the Congress and Left came together to make it a triangular fight. So, it is not only in Murshidabad, one-third of the total seats are already triangular,” Salim pointed out.

According to political observers, in Murshidabad LS constituency CPI(M) has the greatest chance of winning in the State.

“It would not be incorrect if we say that CPI-M has the greatest possibility of winning the Murshidabad seat among the constituencies the party has some chances in West Bengal. Moreover, particularly in this constituency, the CPI-M-Congress alliance has reached upto the ground level. The party, along with the Congress, had clocked a high vote share here in the last panchayat elections (in 2023),” said political analyst Subhamoy Maitra.

According to Maitra, the Murshidabad constituency is showcasing an ideal triangular battle in this LS polls.

“In a multiparty democracy, a triangular electoral battle is always superior than a binary contest. That is why we are keeping our eyes on Murshidabad. One cannot ignore the Trinamool Congress’ Lakshmir Bhandar scheme for women. At the same time the BJP would also have a chance if majority votes consolidate here,” he added.

In the 2021 Assembly polls, CPI(M)-led Left Front failed to win even a single seat. In a first since independence, there is not a Left representative in the Bengal state assembly.

Earlier in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, CPI(M) did not get a single seat, while the Congress managed to get only two seats in West Bengal. The state has 42 Lok Sabha constituencies.